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Suede to Rest

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Unraveling family secrets can be murder in Suede to Rest... THE FIRST BOOK IN THE ALL-NEW “MATERIAL WITNESS” MYSTERY SERIES With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder. When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family’s textile Unraveling family secrets can be murder in Suede to Rest... THE FIRST BOOK IN THE ALL-NEW “MATERIAL WITNESS” MYSTERY SERIES With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder. When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family’s textile store. But after a fatal family tragedy, Land of A Thousand Fabrics was boarded up and Poly never expected to see the inside again. Now, as inheritor of the long-shuttered shop, she’s ready to restore the family business. However her two new kittens, Pins and Needles, aren’t the ones causing a snag in her plans… Not everyone wants Poly back in San Ladrón, especially a powerful local developer pressuring her to sell—and leave town fast. But even when the threats turn deadly, she’s not ready to bolt. Because Poly is beginning to suspect that the murder behind the shop is tied to a mystery in her family’s unsettled past that she’s determined to solve…before her own life is left hanging by a thread. INCLUDES A CRAFT PROJECT


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Unraveling family secrets can be murder in Suede to Rest... THE FIRST BOOK IN THE ALL-NEW “MATERIAL WITNESS” MYSTERY SERIES With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder. When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family’s textile Unraveling family secrets can be murder in Suede to Rest... THE FIRST BOOK IN THE ALL-NEW “MATERIAL WITNESS” MYSTERY SERIES With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder. When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family’s textile store. But after a fatal family tragedy, Land of A Thousand Fabrics was boarded up and Poly never expected to see the inside again. Now, as inheritor of the long-shuttered shop, she’s ready to restore the family business. However her two new kittens, Pins and Needles, aren’t the ones causing a snag in her plans… Not everyone wants Poly back in San Ladrón, especially a powerful local developer pressuring her to sell—and leave town fast. But even when the threats turn deadly, she’s not ready to bolt. Because Poly is beginning to suspect that the murder behind the shop is tied to a mystery in her family’s unsettled past that she’s determined to solve…before her own life is left hanging by a thread. INCLUDES A CRAFT PROJECT

30 review for Suede to Rest

  1. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts First let me say I am so jealous of Poly Monroe. I have always wanted to own my own fabric store. Sewing is something I loved since my mother and grandmother taught me to sew. I could spend a whole day shopping for fabric, finding just the right pattern and fabrics for clothes or quilts for my family. It is one of the things I miss most since my accident. That is why I love cozies like Suede to Rest . I can escape right into the pages and it brings so many wonderful memories. W Dollycas’s Thoughts First let me say I am so jealous of Poly Monroe. I have always wanted to own my own fabric store. Sewing is something I loved since my mother and grandmother taught me to sew. I could spend a whole day shopping for fabric, finding just the right pattern and fabrics for clothes or quilts for my family. It is one of the things I miss most since my accident. That is why I love cozies like Suede to Rest . I can escape right into the pages and it brings so many wonderful memories. With a name like Polyester you would almost have to be involved in the textile industry. You also know she comes from a family that had a great sense of humor. In the same way the story evoked memories for me walking back into her family’s fabric store did the same thing for Poly. Her original idea was to clean it up and sell the building. It had been closed for 10 years so she didn’t think there would be much to save but while the outer layer of the bolts were affected by the conditions underneath she finds some treasures. She barely starts to check the inventory before a man is found murdered behind the stores and the mystery begins. When Poly realizes there may be a connection to the death of her Aunt she knows it is up to her to sew all the clues together to get the answers she needs, a bonus would be catching the killer. This is an amazing debut. Diane Vallere has introduced us to some very strong characters and the plot is full of unexpected twists. I was totally drawn into this story and it held on tight. The family history was so rich. The town of San Ladrón has a history too and is facing many changes, thanks to a big developer with a grand plan. Our protagonist could really upset his plans. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and revisit these characters. I can’t wait to see what Poly gets into next!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This was a fun read. The story line and mystery were gripping and had a lot of twisted moments that had me at times, trying to figure what was happening. I really didn't have an idea, until right around the end when everything was coming together who the killer was. My only main problem with the book, was there was some fillers in places that really didn't need them and there was a lot of retelling of previous parts that I didn't think needed to be retold so many times. There is a moment in the This was a fun read. The story line and mystery were gripping and had a lot of twisted moments that had me at times, trying to figure what was happening. I really didn't have an idea, until right around the end when everything was coming together who the killer was. My only main problem with the book, was there was some fillers in places that really didn't need them and there was a lot of retelling of previous parts that I didn't think needed to be retold so many times. There is a moment in the story, that had me questioning it. I don't want to go into great detail but, it happens during a part when the main character, Poly, is thinking about an incident, she blames one of the characters for doing it and then a few pages later, will thinking about the same incident, she sees the character on the other side of the street and has a moment of thinking maybe he did it or didn't do it. I don't see why this scene was included in the book, Poly has already blamed him for it, he was there when it happen. But the scene on the streets on folds as if he wasn't there when the incident happen. Poly, the main character was very likable and so was a lot of the other characters in the book, Charlie has an interesting story, that I'm looking forward to reading more about in future books. The kittens, Pins and Needles are adorable, hope they have a bigger part in the next book. They were the main reason, I wanted to read this book, their picture on the cover is adorable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sallee

    This first in a series (Material Witness mysteries)was so riveting to me that I would have to classify it as a page turner. The main character, Polyester Monroe whose first name threw me off...I mean really!. However I soon discovered the reason for the name and then I saw the cleverness. Poly becomes the new owner of Land of a Thousand Fabrics when her uncle passes away. The shop has been closed for many years ever since her aunt was murdered in the shop in what people thought was a robbery. W This first in a series (Material Witness mysteries)was so riveting to me that I would have to classify it as a page turner. The main character, Polyester Monroe whose first name threw me off...I mean really!. However I soon discovered the reason for the name and then I saw the cleverness. Poly becomes the new owner of Land of a Thousand Fabrics when her uncle passes away. The shop has been closed for many years ever since her aunt was murdered in the shop in what people thought was a robbery. When Poly comes to town, mishaps start happening to her right away. Someone does not want her in town. There are people who want to buy the shop and the pressure is on for her to sign papers. A murder at her back door only heightens the mystery as this man was a witness to her aunt's murder. The story is full of wonderful details. I hope the new one coming out is just as good. If so, this series is going to be a winner all around.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chatting About

    Set in California, Polyester Monroe inherits an old family store, filled with wonderful old fabrics and sewing notions, when her Uncle Marius passes away. Sadly, her Aunt Millie was murdered in the store and it's been closed for ten years. As soon as Poly arrives in town, a local realtor starts hassling her with offers to buy her property. Resisting, Poly wants time to sort things out in her mind, but that's hampered by vandalism and threats which only make her more determined to get to the bott Set in California, Polyester Monroe inherits an old family store, filled with wonderful old fabrics and sewing notions, when her Uncle Marius passes away. Sadly, her Aunt Millie was murdered in the store and it's been closed for ten years. As soon as Poly arrives in town, a local realtor starts hassling her with offers to buy her property. Resisting, Poly wants time to sort things out in her mind, but that's hampered by vandalism and threats which only make her more determined to get to the bottom of her Aunt's mysterious murder and how some of the town's people may play into the whole picture. Author, Diane Vallere, neatly stitches all the pieces together before Poly gets hemmed in and can't escape! Poly is quite an interesting character. You can see her confidence grow from the beginning to the end of this mystery. An enjoyable first cozy in a new series. I received a complimentary copy from the author. I voluntarily posted an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kendel Lynn

    I had the privilege of reading an advance copy, and I loved it! Charming, engaging, and of course, a fashionably clever murder mystery. Diane Vallere pulled me in with her rich descriptions of small town life, not easy to do in a Southern California setting. With the perfect blend of tension, texture, and personality, I read it in one sitting. Highly recommended!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diane Vallere

    On sale for $1.99! Nominated for a Lefty Award (best humorous mystery) for Crimelandia-Left Coast Crime, 2015. Yay!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    First, I have to say that I loved the protagonist of this story – Polyester Monroe, but everyone calls her Poly. What a name – Polyester! When Poly’s uncle dies, she inherits her family’s fabric store, Land of a Thousand Fabrics. The store has been closed and boarded up since her aunt’s murder ten years ago, but her uncle continued to maintain his ownership of the place. Now that he’s gone, it’s put into Poly’s hands. Poly takes a break from her dress designer job in Los Angeles and makes the tri First, I have to say that I loved the protagonist of this story – Polyester Monroe, but everyone calls her Poly. What a name – Polyester! When Poly’s uncle dies, she inherits her family’s fabric store, Land of a Thousand Fabrics. The store has been closed and boarded up since her aunt’s murder ten years ago, but her uncle continued to maintain his ownership of the place. Now that he’s gone, it’s put into Poly’s hands. Poly takes a break from her dress designer job in Los Angeles and makes the trip to San Ladron to take care of the store, which means selling it. However, once she gets there, memories of happier times with her aunt and uncle in the store make her question what she should do. Poly becomes suspicious when she is pressured to sell, she is not so sure she’s going to leave town so fast, after all. Someone isn’t happy about her decision to stick around and makes deadly threats against her. Poly begins snooping around and finds there may be some secrets about her family’s past that she didn’t want to know. For that matter, could any of this be connected to her aunt’s murder all those years ago? Poly intends to find out. As soon as I started reading this one, I couldn’t put it down. The author hooks you from the start. Well, she hooked me anyway. Each character comes alive and the storyline is captivating. I found myself engrossed in this book and wanted to know what was going to happen next. Diane Vallere is a new-to-me author, but I know she has other mystery series, which I plan to check out. This one is the first book in her new “A Material Witness Mystery” series and I will be anxiously awaiting the second book. Great kick off to a new cozy series! FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Henrietta

    So glad I picked this one up when I was in a reading slump… Suede To Rest introduces us to Polyester Munroe, a talented dress designer whose life is about to fall apart when playing safe fails to give her the level of ease she desires. Polyester prefers people to call her Poly. Although she grows up around fabrics, she likes to design dresses more than picking up the raw materials to sew. When she becomes the inheritor of the family’s textile store, she has a life-altering decision to make – does So glad I picked this one up when I was in a reading slump… Suede To Rest introduces us to Polyester Munroe, a talented dress designer whose life is about to fall apart when playing safe fails to give her the level of ease she desires. Polyester prefers people to call her Poly. Although she grows up around fabrics, she likes to design dresses more than picking up the raw materials to sew. When she becomes the inheritor of the family’s textile store, she has a life-altering decision to make – does she want to sell the store or keep it? I like that the story is not just about Poly playing the amateur sleuth. Poly is a believable character who goes about life just like you and me. She has dreams she’d like to achieve and she’s practical enough to know when she must wear black to hide stains and minimize embarrassment. A bit on the clumsy side, she has her share of experience knowing when not to act and when to play safe. I like that in the story, she gradually learns what she is truly passionate about, and it’s wonderful to see her warming up to the idea that there are friendly people in San Ladrón just like everywhere else. I also like that there is not one but two mysteries to solve in this story. The villain here seems normal and ordinary, and I have to say, I wouldn’t have suspected if Poly didn’t start re-examining the friendly faces in the neighborhood. Overall an enjoyable read, Suede To Rest offers an entertaining introduction to a cast of pleasant, good-humored characters. I had a great time getting acquainted with Genevieve (the tea shop owner), Charlie (the mechanic), and the Lopezes (the cleaning ladies). I look forward to meeting them again in the next book. -- Originally posted on LeisureReads.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Suede To Rest is the first book in the A Material Witness series. I have to admit that I gave a groan when I saw the main characters name is Polyester Monroe. Poly does explain how she got the name and I am happy with it. Poly has inherited he Aunt and Uncles fabric shop that has been closed for some ten years, ever since her aunt was murdered in the shop, in was explained as a robbery gone bad. Poly returns with the idea to sign papers to give Ken Watts the rights to go ahead and arrange the sale Suede To Rest is the first book in the A Material Witness series. I have to admit that I gave a groan when I saw the main characters name is Polyester Monroe. Poly does explain how she got the name and I am happy with it. Poly has inherited he Aunt and Uncles fabric shop that has been closed for some ten years, ever since her aunt was murdered in the shop, in was explained as a robbery gone bad. Poly returns with the idea to sign papers to give Ken Watts the rights to go ahead and arrange the sale of the fabric store. But she soon finds how that there is something very mysterious about the night her aunt was killed and wants to find out what really happened. When unexplainable things begin to happen, she is even more sure that she needs to stick around. Then when Mr. Pickers is killed behind the store she hopes she can find the answers she needs before she might become the next victim. This book has a great cast of characters, that I hope will be back in future books. Poly first meets Charlie, an automobile mechanic, when her car is vandalized. Soon she meets Vaughn McIntyre, whose father is trying to also buy her store. Vaughn seems to want to be helpful, but he seems to be close by when ever anything bad happens to Poly. Maria Lopez, who runs cleaning business, comes to Poly's help when her storefront is vandalized. Maria's husband also owns a bakery, which is always a good friend to have. A very exciting first book and looking forward to seeing where Poly goes with her store.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melina

    This was a cozy that kept my attention from the time I picked it up until I finally put it down. This was a story filled with lots of characters and Diane did a very good job of keeping me guessing. I had no idea who was behind everything that had happened and was happening to Poly. To me that is what makes a great cozy. I definitely want to visit San Ladron again and Poly and all of her new friends. This was a great start to a new series, and one that won't disappoint you if you pick it up. I re This was a cozy that kept my attention from the time I picked it up until I finally put it down. This was a story filled with lots of characters and Diane did a very good job of keeping me guessing. I had no idea who was behind everything that had happened and was happening to Poly. To me that is what makes a great cozy. I definitely want to visit San Ladron again and Poly and all of her new friends. This was a great start to a new series, and one that won't disappoint you if you pick it up. I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    NOTE: I received an ARC from the author to review. The first of a promising new series! I'll admit when I started to read, I wasn't sure but in no time Diane Vallere had me sucked into this story. Poly, short for Polyester Monroe (she comes by the name honestly!) has returned to San Landron where she spent a good deal of her growing-up years. Her Uncle Marius and Aunt Millie owned a fabulous fabric store in the town, drawing celebrities and "regular" people from far and wide to shop the amazing of NOTE: I received an ARC from the author to review. The first of a promising new series! I'll admit when I started to read, I wasn't sure but in no time Diane Vallere had me sucked into this story. Poly, short for Polyester Monroe (she comes by the name honestly!) has returned to San Landron where she spent a good deal of her growing-up years. Her Uncle Marius and Aunt Millie owned a fabulous fabric store in the town, drawing celebrities and "regular" people from far and wide to shop the amazing offerings in Land of a Thousand Fabrics. After Millie's death, Marius closed the store and it stood shuttered until his death, leaving the store to Poly. Her plan was to arrange for the sale of the store and return to Los Angeles, her boyfriend and her job. Memories overwhelm her and she starts to wonder if selling is really what she wants to do. Then she finds a body in the alley behind her store. A local bigwig wants the store so he can develop the entire block. When other odd things start to occur, Poly wonders how far Victor McMichael would go to get her out. Vic's son, Vaughn, also takes an interest in Poly but she's not sure of his motivation. Poly decides she needs to find out before she can make a decision. She ends up investigating two murders, ten years apart. It's pretty obvious soon that someone doesn't want her to find out what happened. Ms. Vallere has written an engaging story, with plenty of characters for future interaction with Poly. I look forward to the next book in the series!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    I had a good time reading this cosy mystery about a young lady named Polyester Monroe. She was born in a fabric shop, left town due to family misfortune as a child, and now returns to take the dilapidated, closed fabric shop in hand. Of course, it would be sensible to sell to the town developer. Her inheritance isn't worth that much and the effort to re-open would be phenomenal. But under all the cobwebs there are bolts of good fabric, and strips of suede, and... memories of a murder. Poly enlis I had a good time reading this cosy mystery about a young lady named Polyester Monroe. She was born in a fabric shop, left town due to family misfortune as a child, and now returns to take the dilapidated, closed fabric shop in hand. Of course, it would be sensible to sell to the town developer. Her inheritance isn't worth that much and the effort to re-open would be phenomenal. But under all the cobwebs there are bolts of good fabric, and strips of suede, and... memories of a murder. Poly enlists our sympathy by distancing herself from the boyfriend who doesn't share her interests, putting her fashion and fabric experience to good use, and chatting to a female mechanic. All of this plus her enquiries into a recent death and a family tragedy do, however, make her the target of violent crime. Great characterisation of place as well as people, a well-planned mystery and an enjoyable read. This is actually my favourite of the author's contemporary mysteries to date. This is an unbiased review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    Loved this book! I'm not sure what exactly it was that drew me in and kept me engaged, but whatever Diane did, do it again! I love how Poly was named...although wonder if she was heckled a lot as a kid with a name like Polyester. There are some good strong characters that it will be interesting to see how they develop in future books, like Charlie, the female auto mechanic/shop owner. I liked her right off the bag and hoped she wouldn't end up being the killer. Then there is Vaughn...I think Poly Loved this book! I'm not sure what exactly it was that drew me in and kept me engaged, but whatever Diane did, do it again! I love how Poly was named...although wonder if she was heckled a lot as a kid with a name like Polyester. There are some good strong characters that it will be interesting to see how they develop in future books, like Charlie, the female auto mechanic/shop owner. I liked her right off the bag and hoped she wouldn't end up being the killer. Then there is Vaughn...I think Poly needs to dump Carson who appears to be too self centered and check out what Vaughn has to offer. And as with many mysteries, I didn't figure out who the killer was until that person was revealed. I guess that means that the author did a good job of throwing enough red herrings out there and subtle clues. I never would have guessed this person (and I tend to say that a LOT!) Great new series, one to definitely check out.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vicki May

    I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. I always look at trying an author new to me as an adventure. As with any adventure, some are great, some are a disappointment and some are just okay. Sued to Rest was a great way to be introduce to Diane Vallere. Polyester was a girl after my own heart from her clumsy nature to her bond with newly found kittens. She means well but finds herself in one tight spot after another. Family secrets, crimes that may or may not be co I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. I always look at trying an author new to me as an adventure. As with any adventure, some are great, some are a disappointment and some are just okay. Sued to Rest was a great way to be introduce to Diane Vallere. Polyester was a girl after my own heart from her clumsy nature to her bond with newly found kittens. She means well but finds herself in one tight spot after another. Family secrets, crimes that may or may not be connected and an entire town full of suspicious characters combine for a story that grabs the reader from the beginning and keeps their interest throughout. I look forward to find out what Poly will get herself into as the Material Witness series continues.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    3.5 star read, rounding up here as there is great potential for this series. The fabric store setting is interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing whay Poly does with it. Some interesting characters here, too. I was pretty sure who the bad guy was from the get-go, but that didn't take anything away from the story. Nice small town setting where everyone seems to know most everyone's business. Looking forward to the next one! RECOMMEND!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    Star rating: 2.5 - 3 Stars After Polyester Monroe's great Uncle Marius dies, she finds herself the unexpected inheritor of his old business Land of a Thousand Fabrics. Leaving Los Angeles with the intention of placing the old business up for sale, Poly finds herself in a bind when visiting the store resurfaces old memories. Does she really want to place her beloved Uncle Marius' store up for sale after all? When a murder occurs outside of her new building, Poly doesn't have much choice but to sta Star rating: 2.5 - 3 Stars After Polyester Monroe's great Uncle Marius dies, she finds herself the unexpected inheritor of his old business Land of a Thousand Fabrics. Leaving Los Angeles with the intention of placing the old business up for sale, Poly finds herself in a bind when visiting the store resurfaces old memories. Does she really want to place her beloved Uncle Marius' store up for sale after all? When a murder occurs outside of her new building, Poly doesn't have much choice but to stay in San Ladron since the police consider her suspect number one. With indecision hanging over her, Poly decides to investigate the murder of Mr. Pickers to find out his connection to Land of a Thousand Fabrics, and if it has anything to do with her great Aunt's murder in the store almost 15 years previous. I really wanted to enjoy this novel, but found myself constantly being turned off by the main character. Poly's indecision of whether or not she was going to sell the store was downright irritating. The entire novel is spent agonizing over whether or not she's going to sell the business. It was torturous! There was also her incredibly superfluous relationship with Carson. Why introduce a boyfriend to a new series when you know you're going to introduce a potential love interest as well? It's extraneous! Not only was he completely non integral to the story but he's an ingrate as well. The writing was mostly solid and that's probably the only reason I'm giving this novel 3 stars at all. To be honest there were moments where I was ready to put the book down entirely. I don't know if the next novel is going to be in my future yet, I'm still deciding on exactly how I feel about this novel first.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joy Smith

    I enjoyed the premise and the setting--and I love Polyester's name! Interesting background about the textile business. I love the characters; I'd like them for friends too, and the author kept me guessing about the villain. (No, not that character! Oh, good red herring.) I knew who else I didn't want to be disappointed in. Good suspense and danger--and a very satisfying ending. Notes: I wondered about a few things--maybe I missed something--but what happened to the missing pages and how could she I enjoyed the premise and the setting--and I love Polyester's name! Interesting background about the textile business. I love the characters; I'd like them for friends too, and the author kept me guessing about the villain. (No, not that character! Oh, good red herring.) I knew who else I didn't want to be disappointed in. Good suspense and danger--and a very satisfying ending. Notes: I wondered about a few things--maybe I missed something--but what happened to the missing pages and how could she use the sewing machine with no power and why wasn't that glass from the broken window cleaned up first thing?! And landing face first in gravel is going to result in serious scratches, I'd think. (Been there, did that.) I did appreciate that she took good care of the kittens' needs--and didn't give them milk! (I'm picky about animals being used only as props.) I love their names, btw.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)

    What a great opener to a new series! I love the way Poly got her name and the twists and turns of the plot. Poly Monroe has been left the family textile store, the only problem is it has been closed up since her Great Aunt Millie was murdered on the premises, everyone (including Poly!) expects her to sign on the dotted line and sell the building quickly, but after stepping back inside she decides to think about it, whilst inside though her car is vandalised, then one of the Senior Citizens who do What a great opener to a new series! I love the way Poly got her name and the twists and turns of the plot. Poly Monroe has been left the family textile store, the only problem is it has been closed up since her Great Aunt Millie was murdered on the premises, everyone (including Poly!) expects her to sign on the dotted line and sell the building quickly, but after stepping back inside she decides to think about it, whilst inside though her car is vandalised, then one of the Senior Citizens who do a neighbourhood watch patrol is killed outside, the thing is the man was the only person who might have been able to shed light on the mystery surrounding her Great Aunt's death. Now with the vandalism escalating and attacks on herself, Poly is unsure who to trust, the one thing that she is sure about, she ain't leaving without a fight!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia McIvers

    If book 3 of a series is just that good, I will go back and read the previous in the series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    Poly (short for Polyester, I kid you not) is a winning main character. Readers see her at a crossroads in her life. Up to this point, she's always settled for feeling and being safe, but now this talented woman with a sharp eye for design and a good sense of humor is ready to embark on something new. That something new seems to be bringing Land of a Thousand Fabrics back to life, and Poly is sharp enough to know that she won't be able to bring it back exactly the way it used to be. To survive, P Poly (short for Polyester, I kid you not) is a winning main character. Readers see her at a crossroads in her life. Up to this point, she's always settled for feeling and being safe, but now this talented woman with a sharp eye for design and a good sense of humor is ready to embark on something new. That something new seems to be bringing Land of a Thousand Fabrics back to life, and Poly is sharp enough to know that she won't be able to bring it back exactly the way it used to be. To survive, Poly is going to have to make changes, and I have to tell you that I'm really looking forward to seeing what they are. The hook in this Material Witness series is fabric, and in Diane Vallere's skillful hands it's a hook that excites yet doesn't overpower the mystery. Poly looks at fabric the same way I look at yarn, so I felt a strong kinship with the character on that point (and others). To take her mind off all the things that had gone wrong, one night Poly got an idea to spruce up a new friend's business. She spent hours with fabrics and trims, and by the time she was finished, she had a treasure trove of goodies. I was downright disappointed when she never had a chance to deliver the things she made to her friend. I'm hoping to see her reaction in book two! The secondary characters are also a strength in Suede to Rest. It's refreshing to have a main character whose parents aren't chock full of neuroses. San Ladrón is a small town filled with characters. The Senior Patrol is a group of retired citizens who patrol the streets at various times throughout the day to make sure no one's up to any hanky panky. In this first book, their role appears to be that of gossip mongers rather than crime busters because plenty happens that they don't seem to see. Yes, San Ladrón does have a bit of an edge. All the residents don't welcome Poly with open arms, but she does make friends like the Lopez family who own and operate a local bakery. Although I did find the killer to be rather easily guessed, Vallere has laid a solid foundation for her series with a strong setting, a cast of fascinating characters-- and a fabric store I'd love to spend some money in once it's cleaned up. Bring on book two!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Drayson

    I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. With that being said, I LOVED this book! This is the first book in a series. I am a huge fan of cozy mysteries, but this author is new to me. She apparently has several other series as well, and I can't wait to read the next book in this series, and to check out her other series, too! My only hesitation about this book was the main character's name - Polyester. I thought that it might be to cutesy, and therefore distrac I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. With that being said, I LOVED this book! This is the first book in a series. I am a huge fan of cozy mysteries, but this author is new to me. She apparently has several other series as well, and I can't wait to read the next book in this series, and to check out her other series, too! My only hesitation about this book was the main character's name - Polyester. I thought that it might be to cutesy, and therefore distracting. However, the character's name is explained in the story, and it was enough to ease my qualms and allowed me to thoroughly enjoy the book. The characters are well developed, and there is just enough action to keep the story moving quickly. The book starts off with Poly(ester) going to a town called San Ladrón to receive her inheritance of a fabric store from her aunt and uncle. Her aunt was killed 10 years prior to the story, and her uncle recently passed away, leaving her the store. Her first day in town begins the excitement, and the mysteries build from there. Every time I thought that I might have a good idea who the perpetrator was, another twist made me think again and focus on a different character. I love a book that keeps me guessing, and this one definitely fit the bill. As a mystery reader, I think we all like to try and solve the mystery along with (or even before, if possible) the main characters. There is nothing worse in a mystery than when the reveal gives you a perpetrator who was barely mentioned in the story, or who was just introduced pages before the reveal. This book did not give me any of that frustration or annoyance, and it was fun to read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a mystery (particularly the cozy kind that doesn't have profanity, graphic violence or explicit sex) with interesting, like-able characters, a great story with many plot twists, and the opportunity to "get to know" the main characters and follow them throughout several different books in a series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    I really liked this book and it is a 4.5 stars for me. This is a great start to this series and I will definitely be looking for the next one in this series. Polyester Monroe inherits "The Land of a Thousand Fabrics", the family store filled with wonderful old fabrics and sewing notions, when her Uncle Marius passes away. Her Aunt Millie was murdered in the store 10 years earlier, on the night of Poly's highschool graduation, and it has been closed ever since. Poly grew up in the store, literally I really liked this book and it is a 4.5 stars for me. This is a great start to this series and I will definitely be looking for the next one in this series. Polyester Monroe inherits "The Land of a Thousand Fabrics", the family store filled with wonderful old fabrics and sewing notions, when her Uncle Marius passes away. Her Aunt Millie was murdered in the store 10 years earlier, on the night of Poly's highschool graduation, and it has been closed ever since. Poly grew up in the store, literally, as she was born there which is where her name came from. Poly's plan is to drive the three hours to the town, sign the paper's to take ownership of the store, then sign the papers to sell the store and go back to LosAngeles to her job and boyfriend. When she enters the store, something tugs at her and she decides she does not want to leave until she figures out what happened to her Aunt, what happened to the gold charm bracelet, and are the store's contents still usable. As Poly is trying to figure these things out she becomes a victim of vandalism, first her car, then the store as well as almost drowning in a shower?? All of this makes her more determined to get to the bottom of her Aunt's mysterious murder and how some of the town's people may play into the whole picture. Author, Diane Vallere, creates a wonderful plot and weaves the characters together is a delightful way. Poly is quite an interesting character. You can see her confidence grow from the beginning to the end of this mystery. The supporting characters are all different personalities and bring different twists to the story. There appears to be a love interest for Poly that I hope will bloom in the next book. An enjoyable first cozy in a new series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gay

    A Material Witness Mystery—the first in a new series. Heroine Polyester ‘Poly’ Monroe has inherited her Aunt Millie and Uncle Marius’ business called the Land of a Thousand Fabrics in fictional San Ladron, near Los Angeles. Poly is a designer who knows and loves fabrics. The store hasn’t been opened for ten years, but is stocked with some very delicious fabrics—which Poly tells us about. An important and rich man in town, Mr. McMichael, will stop at nothing to get the property as he owns much of A Material Witness Mystery—the first in a new series. Heroine Polyester ‘Poly’ Monroe has inherited her Aunt Millie and Uncle Marius’ business called the Land of a Thousand Fabrics in fictional San Ladron, near Los Angeles. Poly is a designer who knows and loves fabrics. The store hasn’t been opened for ten years, but is stocked with some very delicious fabrics—which Poly tells us about. An important and rich man in town, Mr. McMichael, will stop at nothing to get the property as he owns much of the property all around the store. Ten years ago Poly’s aunt was robbed and murdered in the store. The robbers said they did not murder her, nor steal, a valuable bracelet she always wore. Poly experiences some attempts on her life when she tries to shed herself of her old life—boyfriend, job, and boyfriend’s apartment in nearby Los Angeles. Her car is vandalized so she stays in the apartment on the top floor of the building—alas, with no water or electricity. With the help of two kittens and Vaughn McMichael (the son of her nemesis), as well as other good people in the town, she just might be able to make a go of it—and find out who murdered her aunt, although this is not her prime motivation. Survival is. Well done! Vallere is currently president of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles, and a ‘material’ person. Berkley Prime Crime 2014

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    I wanted to like this book more, but I did have some major issues with it. I really don't like the cutesy names that authors give to their characters. The main character's name is Poly, short for Polyester, because she was born in a, wait for it...fabric store. This is just annoying to me. Also, it took forever for the main character to kick her BF to the curb. He was a complete jerk, and every time he opened his mouth, he put her down and treated her like an idiot. And she NEVER said a word! Sh I wanted to like this book more, but I did have some major issues with it. I really don't like the cutesy names that authors give to their characters. The main character's name is Poly, short for Polyester, because she was born in a, wait for it...fabric store. This is just annoying to me. Also, it took forever for the main character to kick her BF to the curb. He was a complete jerk, and every time he opened his mouth, he put her down and treated her like an idiot. And she NEVER said a word! She never stood up for herself, and never told him to take a flying leap. It really bothered me that she was shown as if she could put up with garbage like that. If these two things were not a part of the storyline, then I would have enjoyed this much more. I enjoyed the other characters a lot, especially Charlie, and the plot was solid and the killer a mystery until the end. I will give the next a try and see how things go.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    An excellent beginning to a series. Polyester, named because she was born in her family's fabric store inherits that store 10 years after her aunt is murdered there. A valuable gold bracelet and the week take are stolen at the same time and never recovered. The burglars were caught but swear they were hired to rob the store but were promised it would be empty and denied taking the money or killing the woman. 10 yrs later when Poly inherits the store bad things start happening as soon so she arri An excellent beginning to a series. Polyester, named because she was born in her family's fabric store inherits that store 10 years after her aunt is murdered there. A valuable gold bracelet and the week take are stolen at the same time and never recovered. The burglars were caught but swear they were hired to rob the store but were promised it would be empty and denied taking the money or killing the woman. 10 yrs later when Poly inherits the store bad things start happening as soon so she arrives to sign papers to receive and then sell her inheritance. After her car is vandalised she is forced to spend the night. Then a senior watch volunteer is killed behind her store. More things happen and Poly feels as though she must solve the 10 yr old mystery before she can move on. The characters are reL with depth, quirks and histories. The mystery is well that out and the ending, while a surprise isn't really out of no where. I am really looking forward to the next in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    I'm loving Diane's new Material Witness series. The 1st book is Suede to Rest and introduces us to Poly (as in Polyester) Monroe. Poly has recently learned that she is the sole heir to her great aunt and uncle's estate. The estate consists of a run-down, closed for 10 years textile store, which has been in the family for decades. Now Poly has to decide if she wants to re-open the store or put it om the market. Making the decision even more difficult is the fact that not everyone wants Poly to st I'm loving Diane's new Material Witness series. The 1st book is Suede to Rest and introduces us to Poly (as in Polyester) Monroe. Poly has recently learned that she is the sole heir to her great aunt and uncle's estate. The estate consists of a run-down, closed for 10 years textile store, which has been in the family for decades. Now Poly has to decide if she wants to re-open the store or put it om the market. Making the decision even more difficult is the fact that not everyone wants Poly to stay in "their" town. Once things turn deadly, Poly is almost ready to pack her things and leave town. I love Diane's sense of humor, which has me belly laughing or pure giggling. Her Mad for Mod Mysteries were my introduction to Diane's work. If you have some spare time try reading this series, I think you'll enjoy it. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    When Poly inherits the family fabric store from her great-uncle, she fully intends to sell the building. However, a string of sabotage and a murder behind the shop make her wonder why someone wants her out of town so fast. Could it have to do with her great-aunt’s murder ten years before? I was hooked on this book from the beginning. The plot is great with plenty of enjoyable twists and turns. The characters were fully formed as well, and I easily fell in love with many of them. I will definitely When Poly inherits the family fabric store from her great-uncle, she fully intends to sell the building. However, a string of sabotage and a murder behind the shop make her wonder why someone wants her out of town so fast. Could it have to do with her great-aunt’s murder ten years before? I was hooked on this book from the beginning. The plot is great with plenty of enjoyable twists and turns. The characters were fully formed as well, and I easily fell in love with many of them. I will definitely be back for the sequel. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    I can't remember finishing a book as quickly as this one! The pacing and suspense are deliciously diabolical, and the characters have a tremendous amount of depth. When Poly (short for Polyester) takes possession of the long-closed fabric store she has inherited, her plan is to drive to San Ladron, sign a few papers to sell it, and drive back to LA. She isn't prepared for the emotional attachment that overwhelms her. Then the vandalism starts, and even a murder, and the worst part is not knowing I can't remember finishing a book as quickly as this one! The pacing and suspense are deliciously diabolical, and the characters have a tremendous amount of depth. When Poly (short for Polyester) takes possession of the long-closed fabric store she has inherited, her plan is to drive to San Ladron, sign a few papers to sell it, and drive back to LA. She isn't prepared for the emotional attachment that overwhelms her. Then the vandalism starts, and even a murder, and the worst part is not knowing anyone well enough to trust them. What happens next will change her entire life. Exceptionally well written, and there's a really cute pattern, too.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Suede to Rest is a wonderful first book in A Material Witness Mystery series. When I started reading the book, I had a hard time putting it down. By page 2, I knew Poly needed to solve her Aunt Millie’s murder (Aunt Millie was murdered 10 years ago). Poly meets some interesting characters in San Ladron (some nice and some not so nice). I thought the story had great twists which kept the adventure exciting. I am looking forward to reading the future books in this series. I received a copy courtes Suede to Rest is a wonderful first book in A Material Witness Mystery series. When I started reading the book, I had a hard time putting it down. By page 2, I knew Poly needed to solve her Aunt Millie’s murder (Aunt Millie was murdered 10 years ago). Poly meets some interesting characters in San Ladron (some nice and some not so nice). I thought the story had great twists which kept the adventure exciting. I am looking forward to reading the future books in this series. I received a copy courtesy of the author for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

    I received this book originally form GoodReads First Reads-- I loved this book I read it "all" in one day I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters and the story kept my interest. Through no fault of anyones I got to page 264 and the book was done - I was so hoping it wasn't done there. :) Turns out the last 30 pages were just missing. So I went to Barnes and Noble and got another copy that had the rest. It was worth it to finish it, and I can't wait for the next one in the series.

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